Jack Merlin

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[[Jack Merlin]] was an American card manipulator that performed in vaudville.
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'''Jack Merlin''', born James (or John) William Myers (or Meyers), was an American card manipulator who performed as a [[vaudeville]] headliner.<ref>Ask the Doctor, MUM, JANUARY, 1985</ref>
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{{Infobox person
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| image_size                =
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| alt                      =
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| caption                  =
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| birth_name                = John William Myers
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| birth_day                = circa
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| birth_year                = 1885
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| birth_place              = Schenectady, New York
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| death_day                = December 28,
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| death_year                = 1943
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| death_place              = Marion, Indiana
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| resting_place            = Marion National Cemetery
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| resting_place_coordinates =
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| nationality              =
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| known_for                =
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| flourished                =
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| misc                      =
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}}
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He originally teamed up with [[Frank Nightingale]] from upstate New York to do magic shows as Nightingale and Merlin. It was Frank who suggested that his friend use the stage name of "Jack Merlin". He legally change his name to Merlin and became a famous vaudeville act.<ref>Magic A Pictorial History History of Conjurers in the Theater by David Price (1985)</ref>
  
Jack lived for a while in Indianapolis. His wife assisted him in the act in the manner of a spectator (picking cards and showing them to the audience).
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In fall of 1908, Merlin left his partnership with Nightingale for England with the object of establishing himself as a professional magician. Within two years he was a vaudeville headliner. After returning to the United States in 1911 for more success, he made a trip to Australia in 1916, where he played the leading vaudeville houses there.
  
Merlin always opened his act with the penetration of a glass of water through a derby hat and closed with cards across from [[C. Lang Neil]]'s book [[The Modern Conjuror]].
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During World War I, he enlisted in the U.S. Cavalry in San Fransisco, California making the rank of Lieutenant by the wars end.
  
''He died some time prior to 1966.''
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Jack lived for awhile in Indianapolis. His wife assisted him in the act in the manner of a spectator (picking cards and showing them to the audience).
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Merlin always opened his act with the penetration of a glass of water through a derby hat and closed with cards across from [[C. Lang Neil]]'s book [[The Modern Conjuror]].<ref>[[Genii 1966 March]], Vol 30, No. 7, page 294 - ''Intermission'' by [[Charlie Miller]]</ref>
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His last known appearance was in 1934 at the  Biltmore Bowl in Los Angeles. Bart Whaley's [[Who's Who in Magic]] states he was one of the magicians whose career suffered from, and life possibly shortened by, ill-controlled heavy drinking.<ref>World's Fair, August 15, 1963</ref>
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A patient in a government hospital in Marion, Indiana for a number of years, Merlin died of a heart ailment there.<ref>[https://docs.google.com/open?id=1rjkl8VCSe002-vY9ptvl1-mgih4U4f9RyMPvC5lg32WfXXNwq4MtUokVGW6- Millbrook Round Table, January 14, 1944]</ref>
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He was buried at Marion National Cemetery<ref>http://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/marion.asp</ref> and records from VA list him as<ref> http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/j2ee/servlet/NGL_v1</ref>:
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* MERLIN, JOHN WILLIAM 
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* 2LT  US ARMY
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* WORLD WAR I
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* DATE OF DEATH: 12/28/1943
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* BURIED AT: SECTION 5  SITE 3328 
  
 
== Quotes ==
 
== Quotes ==
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== Books ==
 
== Books ==
* ...And a Pack of Cards (1927)
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* [[...And a Pack of Cards]] (1927)
  
 
== References ==
 
== References ==
* Genii Vol 30 - ''Intermission'' by [[Charlie Miller]]
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<references />
[[Category:Biographies|Merlin, Jack]]
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[[Category:Biographies]]
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Merlin,Jack}}

Revision as of 18:39, 6 April 2012

Jack Merlin, born James (or John) William Myers (or Meyers), was an American card manipulator who performed as a vaudeville headliner.[1]

Jack Merlin
BornJohn William Myers
circa 1885
Schenectady, New York
DiedDecember 28, 1943 (age 57)
Marion, Indiana
Resting placeMarion National Cemetery

He originally teamed up with Frank Nightingale from upstate New York to do magic shows as Nightingale and Merlin. It was Frank who suggested that his friend use the stage name of "Jack Merlin". He legally change his name to Merlin and became a famous vaudeville act.[2]

In fall of 1908, Merlin left his partnership with Nightingale for England with the object of establishing himself as a professional magician. Within two years he was a vaudeville headliner. After returning to the United States in 1911 for more success, he made a trip to Australia in 1916, where he played the leading vaudeville houses there.

During World War I, he enlisted in the U.S. Cavalry in San Fransisco, California making the rank of Lieutenant by the wars end.

Jack lived for awhile in Indianapolis. His wife assisted him in the act in the manner of a spectator (picking cards and showing them to the audience).

Merlin always opened his act with the penetration of a glass of water through a derby hat and closed with cards across from C. Lang Neil's book The Modern Conjuror.[3]

His last known appearance was in 1934 at the Biltmore Bowl in Los Angeles. Bart Whaley's Who's Who in Magic states he was one of the magicians whose career suffered from, and life possibly shortened by, ill-controlled heavy drinking.[4]

A patient in a government hospital in Marion, Indiana for a number of years, Merlin died of a heart ailment there.[5]

He was buried at Marion National Cemetery[6] and records from VA list him as[7]:

  • MERLIN, JOHN WILLIAM
  • 2LT US ARMY
  • WORLD WAR I
  • DATE OF DEATH: 12/28/1943
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 5 SITE 3328

Quotes

  • "To me practice is something I cannot resist. I practice because I enjoy it. When I force myself to do it, I accomplish nothing."

Books

References

  1. Ask the Doctor, MUM, JANUARY, 1985
  2. Magic A Pictorial History History of Conjurers in the Theater by David Price (1985)
  3. Genii 1966 March, Vol 30, No. 7, page 294 - Intermission by Charlie Miller
  4. World's Fair, August 15, 1963
  5. Millbrook Round Table, January 14, 1944
  6. http://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/marion.asp
  7. http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/j2ee/servlet/NGL_v1
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